n Mousaion - Contemporary popular culture as social phenomenon
|Article Title||Contemporary popular culture as social phenomenon|
|© Publisher:||UNISA Press|
|Author||W. Loftie-Eaton Brewis and Elizabeth M. Gericke|
|Publication Date||Jan 2003|
|Pages||79 - 105|
Culture is an all-pervading sense of ideals and values in society. In the modern world various taste cultures are present, with the majority of people preferring popular culture, instead of high culture with its stringent artistic and aesthetic standards and qualities. The appearance of popular culture derives from the great technological, socio-economic and political changes which commenced in the eighteenth century and culminated in modern mass society, which was fully formed by the middle of the nineteenth century. Popular culture has been bitterly assailed during the last two centuries as a debasing influence which pitted the protagonists of high culture against the majority of society in what has been the longest and possibly most significant cultural struggle in the Western world.
Research by serious scholars has convincingly refuted the argument that popular culture exercises a pernicious influence on its user. There is good reason to believe that the boundaries between popular culture and high or elite culture are increasingly fading away, as illustrated by science fiction, which was viewed as pure fiction in the 1920s and 1930s. Today, science fiction is viewed by critics as a major genre and a significant body of work in contemporary literature.
The advent of modern industrial society heralds far-reaching scientific and technological changes which help determine the character of contemporary popular culture, culminating in mass consumption by means of the printed page, radio, cinema and television. During the 1980s the era of advanced technology and electronics produced the revolutionary Internet, which is, inter alia, also a global mass dissemination network for popular culture.
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